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Help!! Dos Setup Disk Question

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    Help!! Dos Setup Disk Question

    I have a compaq portable and 2 HDDs. I can only have one hooked up at a time and until tonight, both worked great. I think I may have deleted some critical file or something on one of them because now the computer wont start up. It says "Incorrect DOS version" and then "Bad or missing command interpreter" Im guessing it doesnt know which version of dos to load to or maybe my autoexec.bat file is dos 3.2 and the computer needs dos 3.1 or something. Anyway, how can I get that HDD to load? I dont own any setup disk, but since I can access my other HDD i figure any files I need I can copy from there and put them on a floppy.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

    My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

    My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

    #2
    Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
    I have a compaq portable and 2 HDDs. I can only have one hooked up at a time and until tonight, both worked great. I think I may have deleted some critical file or something on one of them because now the computer wont start up. It says "Incorrect DOS version" and then "Bad or missing command interpreter" Im guessing it doesnt know which version of dos to load to or maybe my autoexec.bat file is dos 3.2 and the computer needs dos 3.1 or something. Anyway, how can I get that HDD to load? I dont own any setup disk, but since I can access my other HDD i figure any files I need I can copy from there and put them on a floppy.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
    This is likely due to the HDD having been SYS'd with one version of DOS, but containing the files for a different version (e.g. FORMAT /S or SYS A: C: was performed using, say, DOS 3.3, but then content of the drive having DOS 5.0 system files).

    What you can do is create a bootable floppy by booting from the working HDD (FORMAT A: /S, or SYS C: A, and make sure COMMAND.COM resides in the root directory of the floppy disk. Copy FORMAT.COM and SYS.COM from the good HDD's \DOS directory onto the floppy disk, as well.

    Swap HDD's and place the floppy you created into the A: drive. Once booted up to an A: prompt, do a quick assessment of the HDD's state. You may want to backup the content of C:\DOS, etc, just in case. To make the HDD bootable, use the same SYS command, but this time A: C: (transfers the system from A: to C.

    The one thing I don't remember is whether SYS requires that the target volume is empty and/or has an empty root directory. You may receive an error to that effect if such is the case. If you don't care about what's in the drive, you could always do a FORMAT /S on it from the floppy and then spend a few hours transferring stuff back to it, little by little.

    Comment


      #3
      Help!! Dos Setup Disk Question

      I was able to make the boot-up disk, (with command.com, sys.com and format.com on the floppy) but when i try booting up with that disk, it says "incorrect dos version" it says this regardless of which HDD I have put in if I boot from that disk which I thought was strange. Any thoughts?
      "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

      My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

      My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

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        #4
        What happens if no hard disk is attached to the system? Do you still get the message? If so, exactly when do you get it?
        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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          #5
          Help!! Dos Setup Disk Question

          Hey,

          Actually I was able to get the floppy to load! I did the command as you mentioned "a: /s" but this time thats all I did. The first time in addition to formatting the disk with /s I also had manually copied sys.com and format.com from the good HDD and I guess thats what confused it. But anyways I was able to boot up and access all the files in my HDD. (Unfornately I had to run to work before I could determine which version of dos it has and which files I need to remove to get the HDD to boot up on its own)/

          Thank you so much for getting me this far.
          "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

          My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

          My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

          Comment


            #6
            Help!! Dos Setup Disk Question

            So even though im able to access the C drive after using the bootup floppy, how do I make the HDD boot up on its own? When I use the Sys commands it says "Incorrect Dos version"

            It looks like what I did last night was transfer all of my dos 3.2 system files to the new HDDs c: directory which had contained DOS 3.1 files, now its all confused.
            Last edited by TanruNomad; August 4, 2010, 10:00 AM.
            "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

            My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

            My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
              It looks like what I did last night was transfer all of my dos 3.2 system files to the new HDDs c: directory which had contained DOS 3.1 files, now its all confused.
              It sounds like that's precisely what you did. Short of tracking down a bootable DOS 3.1 floppy, I don't know how to undo that. It may be possible; I just don't know. But the easiest solution is to get your hands on a DOS 3.1 bootable floppy, boot off that, and SYS the 3.1 HDD with it.

              The other option is to upgrade the other HDD to DOS 3.2 by copying over the C:\DOS directory to it. The question is whether you wanted both a DOS 3.1 and DOS 3.2 HDDs.
              my blog: http://dfarq.homeip.net
              I wanna live where it's always Saturday. --Guadalcanal Diary

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                #8
                I'm fine upgrading this HDD with 3.2 instead of 3.1. Im now sure how i go about upgrading it though. I already copied all the DOS 3.2 files to this new HDD's c: and thats what caused the issue. Do i simply need to erase every file on the C: drive and copy all the DOS 3.2 files over? I dont have to delete any of my programs do I?
                "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

                My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

                My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
                  So even though im able to access the C drive after using the bootup floppy, how do I make the HDD boot up on its own? When I use the Sys commands it says "Incorrect Dos version"

                  It looks like what I did last night was transfer all of my dos 3.2 system files to the new HDDs c: directory which had contained DOS 3.1 files, now its all confused.
                  When you successfully boot with the floppy you made, type VER and see what version the floppy's system really is. Once you confirm that post it here so myself or anyone here can try and track down the correct version of SYS.COM for you to use.

                  EDIT:

                  I wanted to add that you should make sure you invoke this command(s) while still on the disk you booted from. If another copy of SYS.COM resides on the target disk, and you invoke it from there, that might be the reason for your problems.

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                    #10
                    The floppys version is 3.2, the HDD is currently 3.1
                    "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

                    My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

                    My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
                      The floppys version is 3.2, the HDD is currently 3.1
                      A few questions for you...

                      1. What disk format is this? (360k, 720k, 1.2M, 1.44M)?
                      2. If these are 360k/1.2M floppies, do you have a modern machine nearby where you can temporarily install a drive from the DOS machine?
                      3. If the answer to #2 is Yes, would you like me to send you DOS floppy images?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by EddieDX4 View Post
                        A few questions for you...

                        1. What disk format is this? (360k, 720k, 1.2M, 1.44M)?
                        2. If these are 360k/1.2M floppies, do you have a modern machine nearby where you can temporarily install a drive from the DOS machine?
                        3. If the answer to #2 is Yes, would you like me to send you DOS floppy images?
                        They're 360K floppies. I dont have any modern machine that is compatible with floppy disks. Were you going to send a copy of DOS 3.1? I may be able to get one from someone I know, hopefully. So I can't do anything with my Dos 3.2 disks to get this HDD to bootup on its own? In lamens terms, what is the solution to my problem? Do I delete all my current sys files and replace them with DOs 3.1 or 3.2 system files?
                        "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

                        My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

                        My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
                          They're 360K floppies. I dont have any modern machine that is compatible with floppy disks. Were you going to send a copy of DOS 3.1? I may be able to get one from someone I know, hopefully. So I can't do anything with my Dos 3.2 disks to get this HDD to bootup on its own? In lamens terms, what is the solution to my problem? Do I delete all my current sys files and replace them with DOs 3.1 or 3.2 system files?
                          A lot of confusion and a little misinformation...

                          I've lost track of what files of which DOS version are on which hard disk and where...

                          You only need 3 files to make a disk bootable: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS and COMMAND.COM (although entries in the CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT files can confuse things).

                          The version of the SYS command in 3.1 and 3.2 is not important, what is important is that the 3 system files are the same version. In DOS versions prior to 5.00 the SYS command did NOT copy the COMMAND.COM file, so if you SYS'ed to a 3.1 disk from a 3.2 disk you almost certainly created an incompatibility between the new .SYS files and the old COMMAND.COM.

                          Compare the versions of the 3 system files on the diskette to those on the hard disk (dir /a); if I followed what you did correctly then you will probably have to copy command.com from the floppy to the hard disk. That should make it bootable; I gather you've already updated all the auxiliary DOS files on the hard disk to 3.2.

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                            #14
                            Thank you so much Mike, that fixed it! The only thing that doesnt work now is the format command. Oh well.
                            "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

                            My Computer Museum Website: http://tanrunomad.com/

                            My YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/brianpicchi

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by TanruNomad View Post
                              Thank you so much Mike, that fixed it! The only thing that doesnt work now is the format command. Oh well.
                              The file dates should tell you if you've got the right format.com file. If it's different than the date of the command.com, that might be a problem. Maybe someone on here can put the right file on a disk for you.

                              You could always buy a copy of DOS 3.3 of off ebay and install that. They come up often.

                              Sean

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